Sometimes when I am faced with the time by myself, I am at a loss as for what to do. I love the time that I get to spend with…
It is hard to think that I have already been back from the Philippines for an entire month. I would love to say that it feels like I was just there. To be honest, it does not. It feels as though it is a lifetime of memories away as well as a whole world away. It saddens me to think about this. I continue to think and pray about Rehoboth and all that are their, but it is not an ever present thought as it once was a mere few weeks ago. The people mean so much to me even though I only spent a short time with them. They are family, as Bong put it. We are bonded together with the love of Christ. I miss my family back there. Through facebook I get to continue to be a part of their lives. It is exciting to get up dates on how the clinic is coming along. The ever present thoughts might not be there anymore, but the things I learned can be here with me now.
While at Rehoboth, I had the privilege of reading stories to the children before we had our group devotional time. I would finish up dinner and then head over to the older children’s house. As soon as I entered the room, I was instantly flooded with joyous children whose hands were usually heaping full of books. I found somewhere to sit down and begun to read a book. Some of the children would sit and listen intently, but others were always up and down. They would be listening to me read, then head off to listen to someone else read, and usually find their way back to me with a few more books in their hands.
Snow in Montana during any month is never really that unusual. There comes a point in time though that you sometimes start getting tired of it falling down when all you want is to see the sun shine for at least a day or two. I use to be fine with whatever winter threw my way a few years ago. Then I took up running.
I woke up at 5:00 in the morning on the 5th for a run. What a better way to start off your birthday (besides sleeping in)? Things started to go wrong. I didn’t have a good nights sleep. Getting up when all you want to do is sleep is not much fun. As Brent and I have started our marathon training, there was no getting out of it. When I finally dragged myself out of bed, I started to trip on various items that were on the floor. They were things that were off to the side of my path to the bathroom and my closet. It took me a few extra minutes to get all geared up for running and then I headed downstairs. Of course I had to bump my elbow on my way down the stairs. I decided to take a moment to sit down and pray. I did not want to start my day off with a bad attitude that I could feel starting to arise. This was not how I wanted to spend my birthday. As I shouldn’t want to spend any of my days this way. We have a choice whether or not to have a bad day. I decided that I did not want to spend my day moping around. Brent and I headed out the door for our run and it all started to turn around. I was wearing some new running clothes that he had bought me! The nice thing was that he bought some nice ones as before I didn’t spend much money on them. Oh boy could you feel the difference. I am definitely going to start investing in some nicer running clothes! It was a nice 40 degree run. Our training program has us doing minutes during the week and miles on the weekends, we could just run without a path. We could have a spontaneous run! Brent and I rarely do this. We usually head out the door with a specific plan. It felt great! My attitude had completely changed and I was now ready to bring on the day. We finished up our run. Brent made me a tasty breakfast of french toast and then I headed off to work.
Now this post will deviate somewhat from the typical ones of late in that I will not be addressing the Philippines trip memoir or using it as a spiritual diving…
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
God asked us to go. I want to be continually saying, “Here am I! Send me.” That is what I always want my answer to be to God in my life. To continually answer his call here in Bozeman, back in the Philippines, or wherever He may send me.
There is always work to be done. How you do it depends on where you are. Where you are influences what you have. What you have has bearing on how fast it can be done. In some places, work will be automated. In other places there will be some or even none. This work was done with fewer than some and more than none, although some would consider it as none. A sole cement mixer turned over and over, churning it’s contents with consistency. Sometimes with sand and other times with gravel, there was rarely a break for the little yellow mixer. Once ready to pour, the concrete was removed of it’s mixing confines and then placed on a simple sheet of plywood with 2×4’s installed on edge around the perimeter to retain the soon to be solid mass. The mixture was then shoveled into what would approximate a five gallon bucket that would be carried to it final destination. This is the bucket brigade. Back and forth, back and forth, concrete here, and concrete there. The buckets had been modified to aid in the motions required to transfer the material. Blocks of wood had been nailed to it’s inside rim. We lift while standing still, they lift in motion, never missing a step. Almost dance-like in it’s fluidity. As the bucket is hoisted to it’s resting position on the shoulder, both hands still remain to steady it’s position and to relieve pressure from the weight.
I am getting some help on this blog post thanks to Journey and their song “Don’t Stop Believing.”
While at the party in the Philippines on our last night, Day 8 (Jess’s View), Bong was trying to get everyone to start singing some songs for videoke. A few people sang some songs. Then Jordan and Krya picked out the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. They dragged me into it, which I really didn’t mind, and we started singing. I quickly fell back into my ways as a high schooler while hanging with these two. It felt good to be back at that point where anything could be fun. As long as you are having fun, it really didn’t matter how you looked or what people were thinking. We belted out the lyrics with enthusiasm and an overwhelming joy. We couldn’t help but laugh our way through the entire song.
A picture worth a thousand words. (If only I knew a thousand to describe it.) She is standing with her arm stretched out towards you with the biggest smile you have ever seen on a child. Between her little fingers is a bubble wand. At then end of the wand, there is a bubble that had been caught after she had blown and chased so many.
Among the many things that we experienced while in the Philippines, we experienced a fairly noisy environment. We were well away from the big city bustle, but that didn’t keep the noise down. But before you begin to think that the noise bothered me, think again, it didn’t. The neighbor dog barking wildly, Two-stroke motorcycles, diesel cars and trucks and other forms of locomotion, many without noise suppression, constantly passed by Rehoboth in a fairly steady stream. Now I can only speak for myself, but it didn’t bother me. I quickly became used to it. The night proved to be in contrast, with nary a sound beside the wind, an occasional conversation drifting by and some insects clicking and clacking in the dark. While it is about the same noise level as home, it was somehow magnified by the contrast between day and night. I enjoyed those moments before heading off to bed, maybe holding a deep conversation with a team member, or just taking my time back up to the dorm to sleep. Even as a laid my head down for sleep, I could hear the peaceful silence, even through the steady snoring of some of the other men. I liked that. I wish that opening the windows wide was something you could do during Montana’s extended winter season.
I am reminded of the night that we had to say goodbye to the children and the workers. I changed the background on my work computer today from a picture of Glacier National Park to that night. Since I can’t put the picture up online (it is one of the children), I will describe it to you. There are a small group of the older children standing in front of the videoke machine.